The first batch of the Kenyan team that took part in the just concluded 21 edition of the Commonwealth games in Gold Coast, Australia, jetted in this morning, with the rest expected to follow throughout the week.
The team heads back after garnering a total of 17 medals; 4 Gold, 7 silver and 6 bronze; with this been regarded by most as their worst performance since the 2002 Games in Manchester, England.
For a nation renowned for its prowess in athletics, it was a disappointing exhibition by team Kenya in the just concluded games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Speculation continues over what could have gone wrong for the team that finished 14th overall in the medal standings and third in Africa behind South Africa which came in sixth, and Nigeria in ninth.
Hellen Obiri, in the best form of her life, was among those that won Gold for Kenya, winning the 5,000 Meters race, previously won by Mercy Cherono in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014.
3,000 Meters World Champion Conselius Kipruto also won Gold, previously won by Jonathan Ndiku in 2014, with Elijah Manango’i defending Kenya’s Gold in the 1,500 meters race, won by James Magut in Glasgow, while Wycliffe Kinyamal won Gold in the 800 meters race, previously won by Botswana’s Nigel Amos in the last edition of the games.
With the Outdoor Track Season expected to kick off in May, most elite athletes were notably absent in Gold Coast.
Perhaps the highlight of team Kenya’s dismal performance was in the Marathon, where Australian Michael Shelly became the first man since Rob De Castella to defend the Commonwealth marathon title, with Julius Karinga, the only Kenyan in the Top ten bracket, finishing 9th.
In the Women’s marathon, won by Namibian Helalia Johannes, Sheila Jerotich managed to finish 4th while Shelmith Muriuki came in 14th.
One wanders who did the selection of the marathon team that represented the country in the Games.
Some of the elite marathoners, who were absent in the land Down Under, were set to participate in today’s Boston Marathon and next Sunday’s London Marathon.
Hosts Australia led the medal standings with 198 medals, including 80 Gold; 59 Silver medals and 59 Bronze.
The next edition of the Commonwealth Games in 2022 will be held in Birmingham and this will be the third time that England has hosted the Games.